UFC 264 McGregor/Poirier 3

D. Poirier (-125) Vs C. McGregor $$$

Connor McGregor is clearly insane.

The facts to back this statement up have been well documented, so I do not feel the need to state all my reasonings for saying it. I have to admit to being a huge fan of his early in his career. He had a compelling and inspiring story, quitting his family business as a plumber to obsessively pursued his dream of being a champion to the detriment of everything else in his life. It is a great example of what a man can achieve if he focuses on just one thing and pursues it relentlessly.

Things started going seriously wrong for Conor a few years ago after getting two belts and his true motivation became more apparent. It was never his dream to be champion. What Conor truly desired was fame and attention. Becoming UFC Champion was just the way he chose to achieve it. His out of octagon behaviour is obviously narcissistic or even psychopathic. The biggest problem people like this face is they rarely if ever learn from their mistakes. Their egos are simply too big to let go of the elevated image they have of themselves.

What is the image Conor has of himself? He feels his skills are so far superior to all his opponents that he envisions himself knocking out everyone in the first round. Let’s be fair to him, in many of his fights this has been true. He has devastating power that he generates from a wide south paw stance and if hits you with that left straight early in fight, you are going to sleep. He has immaculate timing and precision striking, at least in the first round.

For most of his career, the first round is all he has needed. Of Conor’s 10 UFC victories, 5 of them were first round TKOs with 3 more coming in the 2nd round. It is when the fight goes past the second round where Conor’s skills begin deteriorating quickly.

I’d like to review all of Conor’s fights since impressively knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds in 2015 to capture the Featherweight title, it will not take as long as you think.

In his first fight, he got choked out by Nate Diaz where he gassed out in just the second round. In the rematch he got the 5 round decision, but frankly looked less than impressive, especially late. I rewatched this fight and I would have scored this match a draw and a strong argument could be made for Diaz winning this fight also.

He then beats Eddie Alvarez to capture the Lightweight belt. It was a good fight for Conor, but honestly Alvarez really was an inferior opponent and stood little chance. Poirier has also beaten Eddie so we have to call this a wash.

Next Connor challenged Khabib Nurmagomedov where he fought well for a while but once again faded in the third round and got choke out in the fourth. In fairness, Poirier also lost to Khabib, so we can call this one a wash as well.

Next, in a truly narcissistic act, he changed sports to challenge Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match. Say what you want about this spectacle, but the bottom line is, he faded late and got knocked outl.

In his return to the octagon, instead of fighting a highly ranked contender, he hand picks a fight against an aging Donald Cerrone who was clearly past his prime. He did get the early knockout here, but I would not describe this fight as impressive or significant.

Then of course, he got knocked out by Dustin Poirier. That’s it and we are up to date.

So let’s review all of Conor’s impressive/significant victories in the past five years… NONE.

Let’s also take a quick review of Dustin Poirier’s impressive wins during this same time. Firstly he knocked out McGregor. He won two, five round decisions against Dan Hooker and Max Holloway. There also were two knock outs of Justin Gaethje and Anthony Pettis and finally a split decision against a very tough Jim Miller. I count six significant victories for Dustin over the past five years compared to Conor’s zero.

This leads me believe that Conor McGregor could very well be the most overrated fighter in the UFC today.

Now let’s be very clear he is very talented could still knock out Poirier. But his best chance of success in this fight is to shorten his power stance and be better prepared for a 5 round war. In the last fight, Poirier repeatedly attacked Connor’s lead calf with kicks that he consistently leaves unprotected. This stance is the primary reason he is able to generate so much KO power and always leaves him in a position to attack. But if he leaves the lead leg unprotected again, Dustin will simply continue to attack it and by the third round it will be useless in generating the power required to knock out anyone.

But then if he wants to push the fight into later rounds, Connor better come prepared with improved cardio because he has no record of performing well in these championship rounds unlike his opponent Poirier, who has won two such 5 round wars in his last four fights. So perhaps he is just better off going all out in the first round and try to get the knockout.

You also cannot exclude the possibility that McGregor does something completely unpredictable and insane like biting someone’s ear off, reminiscent of Mike Tyson in the height of his own crazy stretch. If he is frustrated after the first round, the possibility of a disqualification by McGregor becomes a real.

In closing, I will come back to the the biggest problem Connor has is his world class ego and his corresponding inability to learn from his mistakes. It seems likely to me that he comes into this fight with the same game plan he has in all his fights. He will try to knock his opponent out in the first two rounds.

Unfortunately for him, this is a puzzle that has already been figured by Poirier and several other fighters as well. Poirier’s boxing skills are just a small notch below McGregor’s and should be good enough to get him into the third round where he will have a clear advantage.

In the end if this fight goes the way I predict, this could be the end of Conor McGregor as we know him. I question if this man will have the humility or the skill to climb his way back up the stacked UFC Lightweight division. I wonder if anyone will miss him, perhaps only Dana White.

Jason Grad

Jason Grad

Helping serious betters and collectors win more often and grow their portfolios. Follow me on Twitter for my daily sports picks and NFT portfolio management advice.

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